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Online services consumption soars to record

By Zhu Wenqian | China Daily Europe | Updated: 2016-05-29 14:45

Report says men spend more on 'enjoyment' than women

Services-related online consumption in China has surged in the past five years, according to a report by the China Academy of New Supply-side Economics and research company Ant Financial, the financial arm of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

This year, the value of services-related online consumption accounts for 25 percent of the total. In 2011, it took up only 4.3 percent, according to the report, which collected data from 450 million Chinese online consumers.

 Online services consumption soars to record

Shoppers at a party organized by Alibaba, the country's largest e-commerce service provider, in Shanghai. Provided to China Daily

Over the past five years, people have bought more and more products online and obtained services through online payments.

For instance, more people choose to book taxis by ride-hailing apps, as well as reserve restaurants and movie tickets online. In addition, they make online appointments for fitness training and educational courses.

The scale of services-related online consumption has risen by 70 times in five years, and the average monthly growth rate was 7 percent. The total scale of online consumption increased by 12 times over that period.

Sectors including catering, air travel, education and lifestyle services have witnessed tremendous business growth.

They saw an annual increase of more than 70 percent, and those companies have become new engines that are driving national consumption.

"The information indicated a lot of directions for investments, in terms of investment sectors, products and hot spots," says Hu Yifan, an economist from UBS AG.

He says from a macro point of view, it showed that the strong online consumption had become a "dark horse" in the picture of overall consumption, and it would contribute to further growth in consumption.

Online services consumption soars to record

When it comes to area, Beijing, Shanghai and the provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Guangdong have topped the list, with what is called the highest enjoyment-type consumption.

These include spending on cosmetics, jewelry and sports and entertainment, indicating that the more developed the city or region is, the higher level of services-related consumption they have achieved.

On the other hand, the number of consumers from third- and fourth-tier cities and rural areas has shown a steady increase.

Last year, 63 percent of online consumers came from third- and fourth-tier cities, up from 55 percent in 2011.

Meanwhile, figures show men spend more on enjoyment-type consumption than women.

For instance, men shell out more money on catering, culture and educational services, sports and entertainment, cars and air travel.

(China Daily European Weekly 05/27/2016 page30)

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